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National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Reviewing/Verifying a Student’s Financial Aid History
Transfer Students – Checking the Financial Aid History
NSLDS Student Access Database

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) central database for student financial aid. It receives data from schools, agencies that service loans the Federal Direct Loan program, the Pell grant program and other ED programs. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants are tracked through the entire cycle, from aid approval through closure.

Reviewing/Verifying a Student’s Financial Aid History

As part of the financial aid packaging process, a school must verify that a student is not in default on a student loan or owe an refund or repayment on a federal grant. The school must also determine that the student has not exceeded their annual and aggregate federal Stafford loan limits. All this information can be found through NSLDS in the student’s financial aid history.  In addition, a school may find that the student isn’t eligible for a federal loan if he/she is subject to a judgment lien for failure to pay or make satisfactory arrangements to pay a federal tax debt.

When a student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (electronic or paper FAFSA), the Central Processing System (CPS) matches the student data to determine if the student is in default on a student loan or owes a refund on a federal grant. If the match is complete, the NSLDS information will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). If there are any conflicts with the information, a code will print on the SAR and ISIR and the conflict must be resolved prior to disbursement of any federal student aid funds.  Refer to the 2018-19 Summary of Changes for Application Processing System Guide  for details regarding changes to the NSLDS process.

Transfer Students – Checking Financial Aid History

When a student transfers to a different institution during an award year, the new institution must verify that the student is not in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.  The new institution must also verify that the student has not reached the annual or aggregate maximum amounts on any federal loan or grant.

In order to verify this information, the new college must review the student’s financial history on NSLDS as well as whether the student is enrolled or planning to enroll at that school. Colleges may choose to request Financial Aid History Reports via a batch file rather than individually online. NSLDS combined the Transfer Student Monitoring (TSM) and Financial Aid History (FAH) batch processes into one input format file and one output format file. The college will receive updates on the student’s financial aid history that may affect the their current eligibility  If the student has not listed the new institution as one of the school choices on the FAFSA the student must add that school as one of the choices before the new school will received updates from NSLDS.

The school must wait seven day before making any disbursements after requesting a TSM file from NSLDS unless the updates have been provided during the seven days.

NSLDS Student Access Website

Students and parent borrowers can also track and monitor their federal student loans and grants through the NSLDS Student Access Website. To access their information on the website, select “Financial Aid Review” to display the terms of use.  Select the “Agree” button to display the login screen. Enter the username and password and select LOGIN if the user already has an FSA ID. If an FSA ID has not yet been created, select the Create An FSA ID tab and enter the requested information. A student and parent must each have their own FSA ID to access any of the Department of Education’s websites.

FAA’s will continue to log into FAA Access using their current FSA User IDs and passwords.